Easy recipes to cook with kids this school holidays
When kids are out of school, keeping them entertained for a whole summer can be one of the hardest tasks we face as parents. We’ve found out that getting them involved with cooking the family meals helps to occupy their time while they gain skills and give us as a parent time to carry on with our daily routines. Children can help with random bits and pieces in the kitchen. It’s just important to spark that hunger to want to be involved and see them fully embraced being your sous-chef-in-training!
Make the time
Probably it’s not the first time you’ve had this idea of cooking with the kids. You have already played with the idea about it and got discouraged imagining a messy kitchen as part of the aftermath or you’re just another busy mum or dad with very little time and the thought of spending hours in the kitchen simply petrifies you.
As a parent time is something we truly treasure. Our busy schedules and running after the kids all day don’t allow us to spend extra time in any other activities and sometimes not even enough to share good moments with the little ones. No parent nowadays has time to prepare elaborate dishes and snacks. That’s why cooking with the kids is a great idea you shouldn’t abandon so quickly.
Letting them help with meal preparation can give them a feeling of ownership of the healthy meals you are cooking together and really help encourage them to eat them too! This is especially good if you’ve got any fussy eaters on your hands. They will feel proud of their creations and be more willing to try new healthy things than if you just put some vegetables in front of them on the table. Cooking as a family will make the whole process fun for the children, teaching them healthy eating habits and bonding over it. You can be sure you will create lovely childhood memories together that they will keep for a lifetime.
Another way to save time in your kitchen is batch preparation and batch cooking. These are the key to getting healthy meals and snacks into your kid’s mealtimes most days. Batch cooking is a great option, as the kids will love the fact that they’ve contributed towards meals on other days with little effort.
We have collected for you a few easy recipes perfect to try with your little chefs. They will love to show you their skills in the kitchen, and you will be sure they eat healthily. It’s a win-win!
- 400g chicken tenders
- 50g popcorn
- 50g breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- 50g plain flour
- 1tsp thyme
- 100ml vegetable oil
- black pepper
- 20g butter
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Place the popcorn in a blender and pulse a few times until you have a mix of small and fine crumbs.
- Mix the popcorn with the breadcrumbs, thyme, salt and pepper and ask the kids to get involved by mixing them all together with a wooden spoon. Set aside on a small tray until required.
- Crack the eggs into a bowl, add a pinch of salt and get the children to whisk until smooth. In another bowl mix the flour with a pinch of salt.
- Cut the chicken into strips and place onto a tray or plastic chopping board.
- Let the kids dip one of the chicken strips in the flour and salt mixture, tapping to dust off any excess. Next, dip the strip in the whisked egg and then finally in the popcorn crumbs.
- (Only for adults) Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat and fry the strips until golden. Remove from the pan and place onto a baking tray (we recommend you use the Home Icon Crisper Air Fryer for better results and remove the excess of oil).
- Bake the chicken in the oven for 7-8 minutes.
Simple Mac and Cheese
- 4 cups of whole milk
- 2 cups of elbow pasta (make it fun letting the kids decide what pasta to use)
- cheddar cheese
- Place milk into a small saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat.
- Add the pasta and return to the boil, reduce heat to simmer for 8 minutes (time depends on the type of pasta you’ve chosen).
- The kids can grate the cheese and any leftovers be easily stored in the fridge with the Home Icon Grater with integrated container.
- Toss the grated cheese in the saucepan and stir through to mix it with the milk and pasta. Leave to sit for 2 minutes and dinner is ready! (It couldn’t be easier, right?)
- 3 English muffins
- 1 garlic clove
- 20g butter
- parsley (fresh or dried)
- 60g grated mozzarella (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Split all three English muffins in half.
- Peel and crush or finely chop the garlic clove, then mix with the butter and parsley until well combined.
- Let the kids have fun spreading the garlic butter over the cut side of the muffin halves. Try to make them split it equally between them all.
- Top with the grated mozzarella for cheesy garlic bread (optional).
- Place in a tray and bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
- Leave to cool for a few minutes then serve warm.
You might also like our pitta pizza recipes.
Easy Salmon Fishcakes
Do you struggle to get enough fish in your kids’ diet? Another very time-consuming fishcakes recipes will put you off but this one doesn’t require precooking, just pop everything into a bowl, give it a good stir, then shape; so simple!
- 600 g fresh salmon fillet
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tbsp capers
- 1 tbsp fresh dill
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
- Remove the skin and any bones from the salmon fillet and finely chop.
- Peel and finely chop the garlic, capers and dill.
- Place the chopped salmon in a large bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. It’s time to let the kids cook. They can use the hands to mix well everything in the bowl, then take handfuls of the mixture and shape into 8-10 round fishcakes or any shape they might come up with!
- Place the fishcakes on a plate, cover with clingfilm and place them in the fridge for one hour. After an hour they should have firmed up and will be ready to cook.
- Heat up the Home Icon Copper Frying Pan Super Non-Stick (perfect for frying and cooking food with minimal or no oil) and cook the fishcakes for about 2-3 minutes on each side until cooked through and golden.
This is a savoury and healthy snack that would keep your hungry little ones entertained between meals. Who said children don’t like vegetables?
- 300g porridge oats (rolled oats)
- 200g carrots
- 200g mature cheddar cheese
- 50g sunflower or pumpkin seeds (can be completely crushed for young toddlers or babies)
- 50g walnuts or cashews (can be completely crushed for young toddlers or babies)
- 4 tsp dried mixed herbs
- 200g butter
- Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease or line a 25x20cm tin.
- Put the oats into a large mixing bowl.
- Wash and peel the carrots and then grate them into the mixing bowl.
- Grate the cheese and add this to the bowl.
- Add the seeds, nuts and herbs and mix well. (Yes, that’s something your children can do for you)
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Pour the melted butter into the bowl over the other ingredients and stir well until everything is well combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the tin and press down with a spoon.
- Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until golden.
- Whilst the flapjacks are still warm, cut them into squares but leave them in the tin to cool completely. If you try to take them out of the tin while they are warm, they will fall apart.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
We couldn’t leave out our slightly healthier homemade version of the classic chocolate chip cookies cause who doesn’t have a cookie monster at home? Kids are not going to give up their loved cookies but, with this recipe, you know they are having a lower sugar dose than with shop-bought cookies.
Our advice is that you make a double batch of the cookie dough and freeze half of it so you have some ready to bake for busy weeks.
- 125g unsalted butter
- 50g light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 100g whole-wheat flour
- 100g rolled oats
- 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 50g chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- In a large bowl beat together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for another few seconds.
- Add in the flour, oats and bicarbonate and mix well.
- Finally, mix in the chocolate chips.
- Put your kitchen assistants to work! Divide the mixture into equal-sized dough balls. Place them on a baking tray and then press down into a cookie shape. (Did you know the Home Icon Crisper Air Fryer does also work as a baking tray?)
- Bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely before eating.
You can store the biscuits in an airtight container for up to 4 days, but we assure you they won’t last that long!
Do you have any recipes you love to cook with your kids? Let us know and stay connected!